tv [untitled] December 5, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
international meeting concerning global warming. we hear you talking about providing more parking, more parking, more parking. we have yet to implement this policy. this commission has not made any mention of public transit. sadly, not even the residents have mentioned transit. they recommend that we drive around until we find parking. what does that do to our air? rich or poor, we are all going to go down together. here and there and in the park, this will be wreck-reation.
i wish you would consider those things. it is devastating considering what we are headed for. thank you. >> yvonne. hashim is here also. if you could come forward, please. you have two minutes. >> have done have a prepared speech. -- i do not have a prepared speech. i have three young children and i feel that this project -- we have a space across the street that has been ignored,
abandoned. we have planted seeds and tried to create a really pretty spot. we don't need more traffic. i have kids i need to watch out for. i just feel that it is yet another thing we have to deal with. with the opening of the fine arts improvement that looks wonderful, i think it is great. i think the traffic is going to come through and it is going to stop right there. we will have all of these cars, and i am very concerned and i am very upset. i feel like we are being ignored. it will decrease the property value. i just feel that i am very much against it and i would like you to know that. president buell: thank you very much. >> hashim.
>> hello. i manage our high-school program. we higher high-school age kids on the museum floor when we are open. i am a product of the high- school is better program, and i still work there today. the impact that this will have, many of the public that we work with are moving because of accessibility. it is really hard for them to get to the exploratorium. it will impact us in the afternoons. not to mention other counties. the only way they can get to us is by car. we have a large capacity of people that come on their own.
in some sense, this will be really difficult for the families that come here with their kids and the individuals that come from out of town. we definitely need support for the parking because it will be hard for our attendance and many of our staff. i drop off my kids at a preschool and i drive to the exploratorium. we definitely appreciate your support in this and it will help us with our commitment to reach out to the community and work with them. >> is there anyone else that like to speak on this? if so, come forward. >> i do not have a prepared statement. first of all, i have copies of
the male -- emails. has everything been answered? i don't believe it has. i don't believe all of the things have been answered other than that. >> the answer to that question is yes. >> that everything in these pages has been answered? including confirmation that you don't need ada parking spaces. i think you do. from what i understand. i live on the corner of bay and lion. we get every tour bus, every cable car with amplification talking about our home because
they go and they come. it will take away the parks that the neighbors have worked on and was nobody taking responsibility? we believe we deserve to keep 18 spaces. we just heard from an employee that parts that the space. the exploratorium is a rent- paying private organization. they list public transportation that people can take. can they be transferred first? president buell: thank you. >> i just had an opportunity to review the background material on this, and i did not see any reference to ceqa or
environmental review. if there has been an environmental review, that should be before you as a decision maker. if there has not been environmental review, i don't think you should take action on it today. i would associate myself with the residents that have asked for a delay of this item if those concerns cannot be addressed today. >> is there any additional public comment? please come forward. >> i am the facilities director at the exploratorium. i want to reiterate a couple of things that my co-workers have already said. part of my job is dealing with the traffic and parking issues that come up with our organization.
i have been with the department for 11 years. although we would love for everyone to be able to take public transit, it is not really feasible for everyone right now. and part of the opportunity we have to have a better public transportation. until that time, we need parking for our visitors. we are losing 258 spaces. we feel like every space is a precious right now. especially as it relates to our mission and our ability to operate. every visitor that decides not to come, that is money that we lose, and we feel like we will be in danger.
the other item i wanted to mention is that we did give the -- up. we feel like we are trying to take the neighbors into consideration. we are trying to her hair what they are saying and we just feel that this one last piece is something that will be more important to the palace theater than to us because of the entrance. it is something that will benefit of residents. -- both residents. >> is there anyone else that would like to speak on this item? public comment is closed on item number 10. president buell: i have a couple
of questions that i would like to ask. is the representative still here? maybe we will ask the staff. can i ask questions on the project? how many meetings were held in the neighborhood? and how long ago did that process start? >> we have held five-six meetings. we met with the neighborhood organizations. we met with the neighborhood associations.
president buell: how long ago did the process start? >> a couple of months ago. president buell: that's fine. that's ok. i'm asking generally. it sounds consistent with what i have heard from the neighbors. from a timing standpoint, how much latitude do we have to approve or wait on this matter? >> is essential that the project moves forward. there is time that is needed to implement what we are talking about today. it has to be fully designed and implemented. the parking lot goes offline in about six weeks. president buell: do we have the
rep has of the -- representative of the exploratorium? any vehicles that come from your side, do you employ any transportation systems to bring large groups to and from? >> jennifer is our facilities operations person. the field trip program is administered or you have to make a reservation. they call, a reserve a space, and of those charter buses or school buses are scheduled. the demand is managed that way. president buell: do they work for you? >> both. sorry, i misunderstood you.
there are the yellow buses owned by the school districts, and many districts now charter them. we don't own the buses. president buell: they have had, in the past, had to put a transportation management plan together to get people out of there? it is the visitor's option on doing that? >> it depends. there are days when it is no problem. when there is demand, we wrote off areas for buses. they flow students and kids to and from the building. there is an active parking management on a daily basis. >> because we have so many
people here, i will make a suggestion if i can make it fly. i would propose that for that portion of the project that is the 18 or 20 spaces, that we put that over and allow more time to get more information on that, and the remainder of the spaces, we move forward and prove that today. if that meets with my fellow commissioners, then i have a motion to that effect and a second. all in favor? thank you very much. we are going to take a 10-minute break -- a 15-minute break. [laughter] we will call it a 10-minute break, the back in 15 minutes. we will take up the golden gate park
president buell: there are many people of good intentions that had strong feelings about this issue. i would like to as that everybody refrain from applause or any sounds of this content when someone is speaking or finishes speaking. we will try to get through this as fast as we can. we believe you will have a valid point of view to a share. we're going to limit testimony to one minute because of the vast number or we will be here all night. think about what you want to say and be concise. we will listen to it. because we have yet another item to hear that has many people here as well. let's proceed with the agenda.
>> we are here today to share proposal for an exciting new project in golden gate park. the recreation and parks department is proposing the creation of the golden gate gardens. this response to many well- documented programming needs. it allows us to pursue multiple opportunities for community partnership with a broad set of stakeholders. the creation of the new community gardens -- it is one of the most needed facilities. it also states that the community gardens are one of the most important recreational
facilities to households. this demonstrates the level of enthusiasm, and the project manager will describe in more detail. this is confirmed by our experience in managing the community garden program. the recreation and open space element also clearly urges us to expand community garden opportunities throughout the city, noting that it is a valid use of open space, revitalizing neighborhoods. in july, 2009, the mayor issued an executive directive stating that food production and horticulture education will be encouraged in the city at to the extent feasible on city-own the land.
-- city-owned land. we also comply with one of the most important mandates, the master plan. we had extensive community outreach process. there were literally dozens of meetings held between 1992 and 1998 with a broader array of stakeholders. over 50 of them participated. it was adopted by the recreation park commission and states that the center receives recyclables and is an nonconforming use of the golden gate park and that the non-parks serving activities should be phased out. this non-performing use has had impact on of the park and the neighborhoods. neighborhood groups have had concerns about the existence of
the industrial use neighborhood for years. i now live like to ask howard director of operations to share some of their perspectives on this. >> we are responsible for the day today that emissions -- day- to-saday admission.s s. these concerns fall into two categories. i would like to first ask our current curve manager to comment on the media to impact in the immediate visit the.
-- the city. --a vicinity. >> the negative impact that the recycling center has had has been significant in throughout deregulation -- throughout the facility. one of the things i have asked over the years to the users and the staff is that, it could be attributed to the smell or the odor that is created from the recyclable material. it tends to blow a rancid odor through the stadium. all of a sudden, this wall of
stench hits you. it is enough to turn your stomach sometimes. the second thing i would like to go into is the noise generated from the facility itself. once or twice a day, we hear a larger booming noise. the crash of glass, the smashing of cans. the backing out of trucks, the use of vehicles in and out of the city. and it just makes for a very noisy environment. i like to point out the use of illegal campers. for instance, on any given morning, you can turn the corner and there will be illegal campers out in front of the recycling center, sometimes up to five illegal campers the. you have to be aware as your driving in the roadway. what will happen is that the campers that are outside the gate directly will actually get
up off the bench and they will come into the stadium. and it will proceed to the garbage cans, remove the garbage, collects the recyclables, and leave the trash there for others to pick up. it really has an impact on the gardening staff. we don't have the time and the staffing to do the work twice what we can be dedicated does resources to other things. things that we picked up in addition to that is bringing dogs into the stadium. they defecate on the property, there is broken glass, there are steaks, garbage bags, everything left over as a result. thank you. >> to address the impact throughout the park, i would
like to ask the supervisor of one of our job training cruise, they work seven days a week cleaning up encampment sites in doing general cleanup of debris and other things that they find. >> i have a park section supervisor. the biggest problem that we have, especially for my job, is to remove illegal cans. remove an average of over 3 tons of wheat of debris out of golden gate park -- 3 tons a week of debris out of golden gate park. a lot of them are using the
facility to bring recycleables. they bring other things to the facility and to bring to recycling. they are finished with those bags, they just leave them there. we have to come along, go around the facility, clear up the area, so it is an ongoing process and just around the facility to keep that area clean. it is not just our one area, but it is a big area. it is a nuisance to bring that area under control. >> i would like to summarize what would be some of the public safety concerns. i have oversight and management
of the park patrol unit that works very closely verysfpd. -- with sfpd. you heard us speak of illegal camping here, and we will update you on the efforts. reducing the presence of golden gate park, we are at a point where we have the long-term and very persistent population that we estimate with our cleanup crew experience, the clean-up crew is 7 days a week. eight hours a day. through both of their collective experience, we estimate long- term population of 30-60 -- at
least one half of this population is regular recyclers. we have documented it. we also factor in the cleanup crew that experiences the periodic influx of campers. and with the large events throughout the year, we estimate is 50-75% that recycle. this is a significant concern to us, because recycling provides the economic means to continue illegal camping throughout the year in the park. among the reasons we remain so focused is because it is clearly not save -- safe, and it creates a public safety concern for the
wider public. for the last 12 months, there have been a number of violent criminal events in which either the perpetrator or the victim was an illegal campers. it is our position that without this economic means to sustain illegal camping in the park, the illegal activity will significantly decrease and increase the public safety packer -- factor. >> to address these consistent concerns, we have pursued an alternate use of the site. but as clear compatibility with the operation of this department. it is an ideal place to introduce this kind of garden and the sustainable practices it
promotes. i would actually like to invite the national areas program director to talk about the synergy. >> my name is lisa, and i am the director of the program. we are in charge of preserving san francisco's and native flora and fauna. that means of promoting the biological diversity in our spaces and promoting sustainable landscaping. i worked with the department for 13 years, and 13 years ago, few people really understood or appreciated urban gardening. in the last 13 years, the popularity has really grown.
san franciscans understand the value of native plants, how they can provide wildlife habitat, that they require less pesticide use, etc.. awareness has grown over the years. the nursery has been there to meet some of those demands. both in the public and private sector, over the years, i received many phone calls, people looking for plants. there were only a few places to really send people. obviously, there is a thriving nursery that is providing that to residents of san francisco. on the public land side of things, have also provided many native plants for park beautification and improvement projects. neighbors just recently boug a